Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WADSWORTH, Benjamin, educator, born in Milton, Massachusetts, in 1669; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 16 March, 1737. He was the son of Captain Samuel Wadsworth, who fell in battle with the Indians at Sudbury, Massachusetts, on 18 April, 1676, and the spot where he fell is designated by a monument that this son erected to his memory. After graduation at Harvard in 1690 he studied theology, was licensed to preach, became assistant teacher in the First church in Boston in November, 1693, and on 8 September, 1696, was made its colleague pastor. On 7 July, 1725, he was inaugurated president of Harvard college, and he held this post until his death. John Eliot says : "The general opinion, however, was that he was better fitted for the pastor of a church than to be master of the school of the prophets. He had confined his studies to theology, and was not a man of extensive erudition, or much acquainted with the sciences." He published numerous essays and sermons, which include "An Artillery Election Sermon" (1700) and "Five Sermons" (1711), the first, dated 30 September, being the last sermon that he delivered in the old meetinghouse, which was burned on 2 October, 1711, and the last a "Thanksgiving Sermon for God's Goodness in providing a New Meeting-House for the Old Church," an account of the fire.
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